Tuesday, 22 December 2015

2015 photography competition

Further to the great success of the photo competitions since we went digital
for the first time we invite you to take part again this year. Please submit
your photos before the end of January.

There is now a category for the Best Group Photo thus catering for the many
photographers who have taken good photos of a mixed group of cyclists. The
winner in this category will receive the brand new Pete Mitchell Memorial

Please use this method for sending the photos to us:

       Visit this website: https://dbinbox.com/swlda_competition
       Enter the access code: "WingedWheel"
       Using your File Manager locate the photo(s) on your computer and
drag them onto the big turquoise rectangle.
       You may find it easier to click on the "+Choose Files" button and
select, then 'open', each photo using your file manager.
       Repeat this for each of the photos you intend to submit.

N.B. When using this website to transfer photos it is not necessary to sign
up to dbinbox or Dropbox even if you are invited to do so.

Send an email to me, Tim, confirming the name and CTC membership number of
the photographer, and for each photo list:

       the filename (e.g. P1040276.jpg)
       the competition category for which the photo is being entered
       a short, descriptive caption

The rules and categories are simple:

Competition Period: Photos taken during the 2015 calendar year.

Your photos must all illustrate a connection to cycling by depicting a
bicycle for example, or other cycling association.

You may submit a photo or photos for every category.

   6.1. Person (male) or people
   6.2. Person (female) or people
   6.3. Action
   6.4. Scenery/landscape
   6.5. Building/buildings
   6.6. Humorous or funny
   6.7. Best group photo

Note that the award for a winning photograph in each category will be given
to the photographer who took the picture, not to the model.

[If the method for submitting photos described above does not work for you
please let me know as there may be a work-around. As a last resort I will
ask you to email your photos to swlda.photos@gmail.com . Attach a single
photo to each email and in your message give the information about the
photographer, category and each photo, as above.]

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Winter solstice (well almost) ride on Saturday the 19th December.

The weather today was unseasonably mild, it reached 17c in North Kent apparently. This tempted out 23 riders for the two rides to Oaks Park and Garson's Farm.
  Most elected to follow Godfrey to Esher and I led the remainder to Oaks Park, where Colin joined us from Beddington Park. I noticed two new custom built electric bikes to add to Anna's and it was good to welcome Gillian back after a longish absence. 
  On the subject of electric assisted bikes I was told that it's best to get them custom made, rather than have a battery fitted on the pannier rack as can be done. Apparently the latter method puts strains on the frame that it is not designed to cope with, needing regular repairs. I suspect we will see more of these bikes as time goes on and the technology improves.
On the way up to Banstead and into a strengthening headwind, a flowering daffodil was spotted by the roadside.
  After the tea stop it was all downhill with the following wind. Most peeled off and only three were left by the time we returned to Nonsuch.
  Thanks to Brian for back marking.

Christmas Dinner at the Prince of Wales in Cheam

  21 members of the group made it along to this annual event. The food was fine, service prompt, and company great. It was a bit unusual to see fellow riders in normal clothes.
  Thanks to Lynda for organising the event. Photos by Colin.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Ride to Chiswick House on Saturday the 21st November

  After dire weather forecasts for snow showers and freezing gales, it was a relief to arrive at Morden Hall NT cafe at 1015 to find the sun peeping through the clouds and four hardy riders, Tim, Toni, Dave and Stephanie well wrapped up and ready for the off.  The wind, however, was nearer to the forecast speed and was right in the face for the ride down the Wandle Trail to the mouth of the Wandle in Wandsworth.
  Luckily the route is fairly sheltered until you get to the tower blocks and road works in Wandsworth Town Centre where a major rebuilding is taking place on the site of the former Ram Brewery. Wandle mouth spit saw Toni briefly slip up on wet wooden boards by the entrance. This is a draughty spot with new luxury flats and the old Wandsworth dump on each side, though no deterrent to the numerous waterfowl. We then rode along the Thames Bank through Wandsworth Park to Putney Bridge and the more sheltered side of the Thames in Fulham Palace Park.
  After a brief detour to admire the hidden gem of Fulham Palace we rode past Fulham FC ground and onto the riverside path, where the wind was so strong that cormorants were having to work hard to fly against it. The sun was now fully out and once we turned the corner under Hammersmith Bridge it could even be described as warm out of the wind. The ride along the river to Chiswick old church is very scenic and always bustling with activity with the rowing clubs getting ready to venture out on the water and in no time we arrived at Chiswick House and garden and the excellent cafe which was nice and warm.
  Finishing our snack, we did a brief circuit of the gardens and the historic camellias in the glasshouse before continuing along through Dukes meadow to Chiswick Bridge, which we crossed and joined the Thames Path on the south side of the river. We turned off by the National Archive building and rode through back streets past Kew station to the rugby club entrance by Twickenham Bridge where fans were making their way to a match. Richmond Green was full of people enjoying the sunshine, as was the riverside at Richmond with the wind falling lighter and from behind. This presaged a cold night to come and after riding along the bottom of Richmond Park to New Malden we ended the ride after 25 miles at 2.45 pm.
  Stephanie took a photo of us hiding out of the wind in the glasshouse at Chiswick House, where, as you can see, the Camellias are already in flower.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Saturday 21st November

Saturday 21 November Harry will lead an all day ride to Chiswick House in London. Meet Harry outside the the Garden Center in Morden Hall Park at 10:20 to leave at 10:30am.

This all day intermediate ride will follow the Wandle Trail to the exit into the Thames, into Putney and over the bridge to Bishops Park. Then along the North Bank through Hammersmith Riverside to a stop at Chiswick House cafe. Return will be via Chiswick and Richmond to New Malden.

This is a shorter ride, around 30 miles, due to the short hours of daylight and Harry aims to finish by 3:30pm.

Lights, however, are essential, as are waterproofs. There will be no hills to be climbed.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Ride to Godstone on Saturday the 17th October

  10 , including a tandem, were ready at Nonsuch Mansion for this ride. It was overcast with a chilly NE wind and stayed that way most of the day, unfortunately muting the Autumn colours, but no rain fell.
  The ride is urban along the back of Sutton and Wallington, across Purley Way and through South Croydon and then becomes more suburban along Croham Valley Road. This was a long incline to the crossroads at Selsdon but the road surface is good quality and we had a following wind.
 Up to the top of the Downs at Farleigh, where you hit a more rural setting, it was a bit more lumpy to stretch the legs and we rolled through Warlingham and the descent to Marden Park down Bug Hill at 17%. This was accomplished without incident and the ride along the valley past Woldingham School never fails to please.
  We then swooped down over the M25 to Godstone and arrived at Knight's Garden Centre cafe after a ride of just over 2 hours. There was some muttering from the cafe staff about so many (9!) turning up without prior notice, but we all got served eventually and it was pleasant to get out of the cold wind.
  After riding up to Bletchingly we descended past the Golf Course to join Sustrans route 21 at the foot of the Downs to rejoin the road just before Merstham. The ride up Markedge Lane to the now closed Fanny's Farm further tested the legs, as did the final climb up Rectory Lane to Woodmansterne where the majority peeled off.
  The ride was Approx 35 miles, with no punctures rather surprisingly considering the road surfaces in places. Thanks to Stephanie for back marking.

  All day rides on the third Saturday each month during the winter months will still take place except for one in December and I will announce details on the Blog a week or so before.
  I will draw the line at ice, snow and heavy rain and gales but otherwise remember, there is no such thing as bad weather, only wearing the wrong gear.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

AGM notice

The AGM for CTC South West London will commence at 11:02 in the Hersham
Amenity Hall on Wednesday 11th November.

The date and time coincides with Armistice Day so we will observe the 2
minute silence before the meeting starts. Please be in the hall by 10:50 to
ensure you that you have time to find a seat before 11 o'clock.

Signing in and distribution of the agenda and other paperwork will take
place after this moment of quiet.

Should you arrive late the silence will be observed in the cafeteria and
throughout the premises by the staff and regular clientele of the Day

It is the custom to award the Arthur Jessop Shield to recognise outstanding
achievement in the club. If you wish to nominate someone for this award
please communicate with the secretary or a member of the committee.

Tim Court

Friday, 9 October 2015

All day ride on the 17th October.

The last ride of the traditional cycling season will leave from
Nonsuch Park at 10am on Saturday the 17th October with a destination
of Godstone.
  The route will be via South Croydon, Selsdon, Farleigh and Warlingham
and that stretch will include some hills. Thereafter, a fast descent
of Bug Hill takes us through the scenic Marden Park, where the trees
should be in full colour, and down to lunch at Knights Garden Centre
in Godstone.
  We will then ride through Bletchingly and Merstham before ascending
the North Downs to Chipstead Bottom and Banstead.
  There will be some hills, so this is not a ride for the inexperienced,
but I will maintain an easy pace and no one will be dropped on the
climbs. The distance is around 30-35 miles and we should finish by
4pm. Lights are not needed unless it is raining.

Monday, 21 September 2015

All day ride on the 19th September

  Many thanks to Tony for leading on a very enjoyable ride from Waterloo to
Woolwich.  In addition to The Barrier and ferry crossing there are many
features to note, The Greenway, Regents Canal and other paths, Limehouse
Basin, views of the City and all those dreaded paving stones are just a few.
  Tony chose good weather and good company, The Woolwich Arsenal Museum cafe
offered a varied menu and we were lucky not to suffer any punctures or
mechanical problems.  
  Happy days all.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Surrey Churches ride on Saturday the 12th September

  This is part of the Ride and Stride Day to stimulate interest in Churches in Surrey and Southwest London.
  Shirley led us on a ride around Stoneleigh, Ewell, Chessington and Epsom with the intention of visiting 11 churches. In the event, we managed to visit 7 and had a tea stop at the historic St Mary's Chessington. The other churches were in the modernist style, reflecting the era they were built in.
  After leaving St Mary's we were told of a cut-through to Horton Country Park which consisted of a steep descent on a gravelly track and a bumpy stretch across a field to the old railway line surfaced track.
  As we were running late, we sped through West Ewell to the final stop at St Barnabas, Epsom, managing to lose a couple of riders on the way in the maze of new housing around Chantilly Way.
  Despite a forecast of showers, it was a mainly sunny afternoon.
Many thanks to Colin and Shirley for planning and leading the ride.

All day ride on Saturday 19th September

On Saturday 19 September Tony Hooker will lead an all day ride from Waterloo Station to Woolwich along the Thames via Greenwich and the Thames Barrier. After crossing the river on the ferry the return will be along the Greenway to Victoria Park and thence to Waterloo around 3:30pm.

Meet Tony at Waterloo Station at 9:50am for departure at 10am by the entrance to platform 2. 

Lunch stop TBA. 

Last year several people had punctures, so make sure you bring a spare inner tube.

Distance approximately 30 miles with no hills. 


Sunday, 13 September 2015

Fanny's Farm Shop and Cafe has closed.

  After the death of Fanny, the family has decided to sell the shop and the land and it closed yesterday. No more tea stops for the Saturday afternoon longer ride.
  Keen hill climbers will now have to find another reason to ascend Hazelwood Lane. So far as I know the nearest cafe will now be in Merstham at the bottom of the North Downs which will mean having to come back up Markedge Lane.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

More photos from the ride.

Ride to Pyrford on Saturday the 15th August.

  Thirty-one riders left Kingston Bridge.  The group was split into two to ease passage along the tow paths.  All went well until we began the cut through Coxes Mill and the fruit farm.  The second following group became detached and also suffered a collision.  I hope Steve is recovering.  All arrived at the pub for lunch.  Harry accompanied Steve and Gemma to West Byfleet for the train home after lunch.   
  The afternoon proceeded without incident.  Thankyou to everyone who came.  Thanks to Harry and Tony Hooker for managing the second group.

  Steve went over the bars when braking suddenly and unfortunately has suffered a fracture of his radial bone in the right arm. He will be out of action on the bike for at least six weeks.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Regular riders - John French

  John has been riding with the Beginners since 2009, starting with riding from Beddington Park. He heard about the rides from seeing a notice on a tree in Carshalton. The impetus was needing exercise after a heart attack and finding attending a gym boring.
  At the time he had not been on a bike for 43 years since leaving the Addiscombe CC youth section when he was 17 and bought a motor scooter. In that time had had been a sprint athletics coach with Belgrave Harriers and also,ran numerous marathons.
  His current bike is a Schwinn Sportera 2013 model from Wallington Cycles. This has a lighter aluminium frame and carbon forks than his previous bike, a hybrid with suspension forks and he uses it for leisure rides along with tending an allotment. His favourite ride is to Ashstead and Bike Beans cafe.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Ride to Pyrford on Saturday the 15th August.

 On Saturday the 15th August Stephanie will lead a ride

to Pyrford Lock departing from Kingston Bridge at 10:00 am.  

We will follow the Thames to Weybridge and cross the rail bridge by Coxes Mill, cut through the fruit farm (toilet) join the Wey navigation at Byfleet, following the towpath to the Anglers at Pyrford Lock for lunch. The afternoon will take us through Wisley and Downside, towards Garsons Farm at Esher for tea. 

 Mostly flat towpaths, so riders on a road bike with small tyres will have a challenge at times, with a little uphill towards Esher in the afternoon.  The ride will be 35 - 40 milesMat an easy pace.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Barbecue at Pat and Mary Ryan's.

  The weather was fine for this, and many people enjoyed the fine food on offer. A big thank you to them for opening up their lovely house and garden again.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Tony Hooker's ride to Brighton on Saturday 18th July

18 riders left Nonsuch Park on a fine morning, on route to Newdigate, when we arrived Liz decided to take three riders for a tea stop and to take a slower ride to Brighton.

14 riders continued on to Horsham where we stopped for a snack. We encountered several hitches on our way to Shoreham, Firstly I took a wrong turning, then Brian got a puncture and then finally we lost two riders after Henfield, we waited for twenty minutes but were unable to find them!

We arrived in Shoreham and took the coastal route until we met John Gould and his family at Hove. After this we all went our separate ways, Six riders went with John to Brighton Marina to celebrate his coming Birthday, Brian cycled back to Horsham, the others took the train and Eddie and I cycled on to Lewes where we stayed at the YHA.

The next day we cycled back home , the weather was nice and sunny and we arrived home about 3.00pm. My thanks to Neil, Angie and Toni for back marking

Monday, 20 July 2015

Barbecue next Saturday for the Beginners Group.

Pat and Mary Ryan are hosting a barbecue on Saturday the 25th July in their lovely garden in Cheam starting after the rides from 4pm onwards. There is ample parking for bikes. Just

bring  something to drink. Pat and Mary will sort all the rest. 


Please email or call Pat if you intend to come so we can judge the numbers.



Pat Ryan

31 Cheam Road

Ewell, KT17 1QX

Telephone: 020 8393 5866

Email: pryan@community.co.uk

Mobile: 07811 302 196

Friday, 10 July 2015

All day intermediate ride on Saturday 18th July.

Tony Hooker will leave Nonsuch at 9am to ride to the coast at
Shoreham. Going over the North Downs at Pebble Hill and through
Newdigate to elevenses in Horsham, thence to the Coast at Shoreham, a
ride of about 50 miles at a moderate pace.
After a lunch stop, Tony will ride along the sea front to Brighton,
where the ride will end. Return will then be by train to East Croydon,
though really energetic riders may ride all or part of the way back.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Ride to Osterley Park on June 20th

"16 of us set out on Saturday morning for Osterley park - via Kingston, Teddington Lock, Twickenham and stopped for coffee by the river at Richmond - all enjoyed Phil's lime drizzle cake and Lillian's chocolate cake - then via Isleworth and Syon Park to Brentford - along the Grand Union Canal to Osterley Park where we had lunch - returned via part of Richmond Park, Ham and Kingston.  We were joined by three new cyclists known to Dawn,Clare, Steve and James. Tim also joined us for the first time."

Photo by David.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Group Ride Guidelines

  These have been up dated on the website and are also available in a handy size cardboard format to carry around. Please read them if you have not already.
  I handed out a number last week at Nonsuch, and still have a stock available.
  Ride leaders on the Saturday all day rides may want their own stock, just ask me.

Dawn's ride on Saturday the 20th June

Meet Dawn on Saturday 20 June at 9:50am at the café in Nonsuch Park to depart at 10am. We shall be cycling via Kingston, Teddington Lock, Twickenham, along the river to Richmond - onto Isleworth, Syon 

Park, Grand Union Canal. Lunch will be at Osterley Park where there is a café or bring your own. Mid morning coffee will be beside the river at Richmond.  Dawn will be bringing cake to share!   The return route will be via Richmond Park and will follow a different route back to Nonsuch. This will be easy paced bikeride of around 25 miles maximum.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Angie's ride to Charlwood on Saturday 16th May

9 of us started from the Nonsuch Mansion House on Saturday for our all day ride to Charlwood.  Weather was set fair and somehow Maureen talked me, against my usual ride rules, into stopping for 11s at Walton Ponds.  On the way, we met up with Beattie at the tea hut on Epsom Downs, who showed us a neat way to Walton rather than over the switchback!  At Walton Steve joined us.  The journey down Pebble Hill was uneventful, thank goodness, and we made our way to Charlwood via Leigh, at which point David and Cliff left us for an early lunch (was it something we said?).  Then on taking a little detour past Irons Bottom and The Fox Revived and down into Charlwood and the delights of The Hungry Horse public house.

After lunch, it was lovely sitting outside, we made our return down Lonesome Lane, round the back of Reigate Garden Centre and into Brockham and the golf course.  I would be lost without the golf course!  We came across quite a few cyclists luckily coming the other way, taking part in some event.  Tea stop was at Annie's in Leatherhead from which point we made our different ways home. Angie"

Photos are of the group at Charlwood and one taken by David of the Walton Pageant.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Regular riders, Bev and Sandra Batty.

  Bev and Sandra have been riding on Saturdays since Septmeber 2012 when they heard about the group from Steve Hill, who sings with Bev in Epsom Male Voice Choir. They have cycled for years and took all their children to school on bikes. All their children now ride themselves.
  They like cycling holidays in Europe and this year plan to visit Itlay and ride from Bolzano to Venice and generally like longer rides around leafy lanes. Their favourite cafe stop is Bike Beans in Ashstead.
 Steve rides a Dawes Colorado, adorned with numerous sound making devices to keep children amused, and Sandra an almost new Claude Butler Classic.
Bev remembers the Police being much hotter on cycling infringements when in his youth, in his view they have become too slack.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

All day ride to Charlwood on Saturday May 16th led by Angie Launder

 We will meet for the ride to Charlwood at 9.50 at the Mansion House in Nonsuch Park to leave at 10.00.  Up over Epsom Downs and then down Pebble Hill.  We will then pedal up Snowerhill towards the Fox on the Hill, then whip down to Charlwood for lunch in the Hungry Horse pub. 
 After lunch we will make our way to Lonesome Lane and then past Reigate Garden Centre and on to Brockham and, of course, the golf course.  Hopefully, we will be able to take tea in one of the establishments in Leatherhead before making our way to our separate homes. 
 A day of ups and downs and hopefully the weather will hold fair for us!  Approximately 40+ miles.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Group photo for the London Parks Ride.

Somehow this did not appear in the last blog. Error rectified.

Day ride on the 18th April to London Parks.

  The day dawned chilly but sunny with an easterly breeze and after negotiating our way round the runners from the Park Run, and with the shouts of military fitness groups in Cheam Park ringing in our ears, a group of 12 riders set off to visit 10 Parks (eleven if you count Barnes Common).
  We crossed over St Helier open space and descended to the Wandle Trail in Ravensbury Park, following it down to Earlsfield where we avoided the difficult right turn by the station and climbed up to Wandsworth Common. This is always full of fitness fanatics on a Saturday morning and hundreds of children playing football, and the same was true of Clapham Common and Battersea Park when we got there for a short refreshments stop and cakes handed out by Lillian.
  Over Chelsea Bridge and onto the CS7 superhighway, we sped across Vauxhall Bridge crossing and turned up by the Tate Gallery, around St John's Smith Square, and through the maze of Georgian Town Houses to Dean's Yard, where we met a group of London Cyle Tourists also admiring the view of the Abbey. Crowds outside the Abbey were smaller than usual when we crossed over to join HorseGuards Parade and the Mall and the always impressive ride past Buckingham Palace.
  In Green Park we paused briefly to point out the recently erected Bomber Command Memorial and road works announcing the construction of the new West to East Cycle Superhighway and headed into Hyde Park along the Serpentine and myriads of rollerbladers. Kensington Gardens is less crowded and we went past the Palace and Embassy Row to Holland Park for the lunch stop.
 After this, we crossed behind Olympia and a traffic snarl up by Barons Court tube station to rejoin the Thames by Hammersmith, where David peeled off to get home for an evening engagement. Once over the Bridge we headed down suburban back streets full of flowering trees and shrubs to Barnes Common, where Lillian left us to catch a train home. Then up the long road to Richmond Park where we diverted into the less visited Palewell Common and entered the Park through the Sheen Gate.
Ride cohesion diluted at the Pen Ponds Cafe where some went off to make their own ways back and some stayed for a snack.
  Finally a small group of five headed to Raynes Park by the soon to be constructed route alongside the railway and the ride ended.
 A beautiful sunny, if rather windy day, with no flats or mechanicals. Thanks to Eddie for back marking.
The total distance was around 35 miles. Photos are of the group, Dean's Yard and the Japanese Garden in Holland Park.

Beginners Group Launch of Summer Rides

  This took place on the 11th April, when the Mayoress of Sutton attended to see off a summer of rides. This is a photo taken by Colin of the assembled group.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

London Parks ride on Saturday the 18th April

"The ride will leave Nonsuch Park at 10am and go via Ravensbury and
Morden Hall Parks to the Wandle trail at Merton Abbey Mills.
Thereafter through Wandsworth Common and Clapham Common to a comfort
break in Battersea Park. Then over Chelsea Bridge to Deans Yard, Horse
Guards Parade, Green Park and Hyde Park where we will pause again by
the Serpentine.
After this on through Kensington Gardens, Holland Park and Hammersmith
Bridge to Barnes and up to Richmond Park, finally dispersing at New
All in all, about 35 miles ending around 4pm. No hills of any significance

Friday, 10 April 2015

New bike stands at Molesey

  Riders to Five on the Bridge cafe in Molesey will be pleased to hear that 8 bike stands have been placed on the small green opposite the cafe. A welcome addition, so you can now admire your trusty bike while taking tea.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Rider profile Ron Weedon

  Ron is arguably the oldest regular rider with the Beginners, but probably not with the Easy Riders who meet on Wednesdays. He reports his age at 81, he is 5' 7" tall and weighs in at 12 stone. He usually sports a beard and a cap and rides a 2nd hand Pearson Tourer donated by a neighbour. He has been through several bikes over the years, usually donating them to his 7 grandchildren.
  Ron has been a member of the CTC off and on for 70 years as well as the YHA and has cycled in every county in England, Scotland and Wales. He has been coming to the Beginners for the last 9 years after giving up horse riding on Saturdays. He also does recreational rides using the Freedom Pass. He says that climbing hills is becoming more difficult and is now thinking about an Electric assisted bike.
  Ron has a fund of well recounted stories about his past and events during the 2nd World War and is unfailingly helpful on matters mechanical. We look forward to his company for many more years.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Ride on the 21st March

  Despite the gloomy and chilly conditions, eight riders turned up at the start including Toni and Eddie who also did the same ride the previous week. We made good time to the first break at Bedfont Lakes where we had fun negotiating the entry barrier.
  After rounding Heathrow and having a quick peek at the Great Barn in Harmondsworth we sped along to Harlington on the straight road with a cold wind coming from the left and turned into Cranford Park. Back through Heston we arrived at Osterley and the cosy cafe.
  After lunch we went down the cycle path by the A4, crossed a logjam at Kew Bridge and went down to Chiswick Bridge then into Richmond Park via Sheen. Final separation was at Raynes Park.
This ride was a bit longer than the last at 35 miles. Thanks to David for back marking.
 I got some photos on this ride , and I will put them up when I can get my iPad working properly.

Monday, 16 March 2015

All day ride on Saturday the 21st March.

  The third Saturday each month is the usual time for an all day ride, so I will be
leaving Kingston from outside TKMAX at 10am to ride around Heathrow to
Osterley Park.
Depending on the weather, we might detour from the planned route to
Windsor, otherwise read the blog for the 14th to see the route
Let us hope that the equinox brings better weather than we had last week

Ride to Osterley Park on the 14th March

  After I got the ride dates mixed up, seven riders turned up in Kingston and some early sunshine. With the keen wind behind we fairly sped through Bushey Park and Hanwell to the Bedfont Lakes Country Park, where we had a short stop at the visitor centre. Clouding up by now, we went around the South of Heathrow and its warehouses to the East End of the runway where giant planes were revving up before takeoff. At the Northwest end of the airport a steady stream of giant planes were landing directly overhead. This is quite an experience despite the noise and pollution.
  After a short stop in Harmondsworth for a glimpse of the Great Barn it was the long, straight road through Sipson and Harlington dead into the cold wind with the clouds getting darker by the minute.
What felt like a grind took us through the built up area of Heston, and it was a relief to arrive at Osterley and the welcoming sight of a cosy cafe at 1230.
  Leaving the cafe was a shock to the system, as if anything, the air temperature had fallen, though by now the wind was behind as we headed towards Richmond Bridge via Isleworth, thence through the Park to Kingston Gate, where the sun reappeared. At the end of the ride by the A3 underpass, the distance was confirmed as exactly 30 miles. Thanks to Toni for back marking and making sure there were no flats or mechanicals.

Friday, 13 March 2015

My mistake about the all day ride down for the 21st

  Somehow I have got the dates wrong for this month, and I have been reminded the ride is listed in the Sou'wester and on the website as being tomorrow!
  So I will be at Kingston Bridge tomorrow the 14th at 10am if anyone has already planned to come, and will also repeat the ride the following Saturday.
  Be assured,  it is an interesting ride.

Saturday the 21st March. All day ride to Osterley Park.

Meet outside TKMAX on Kingston Bridge at 10am. Ride through Bushy
Park, Bedfont Lakes and round the end of the runway at Heathrow to
Harmondsworth. Then through Sipson, Cranford and Heston to Osterley
Park NT cafe.
After a break for lunch, through Isleworth, over Richmond Bridge and
through the Park to New Malden.
Distance is about 30 miles with no hills.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Regular riders. Gemma and Steve Hill.

  Gemma and Steve are a daughter and father partnership who have been regularily turning out on Beginners rides for the last two years. They joined as a way of preparing for the London to Brighton charity ride in 2013. Having always cycled as a family in Nonsuch Park some years ago, they continue as a way of keeping fit and for the social side as well. "It gets me out of the house now I'm retired" says Steve. They like the longer rides on Saturdays and Sundays and the direction of Hampton Court and Bushy Park as they live in Epsom and Cheam. Their favoured cafe stops are Bike Beans in Ashstead and Roehampton Gate in Richmond Park.
  Emma rides a Specialized Road Bike she got in 2013 And Steve a Felt Hybrid about four years old. He thinks he might also get a Road Bike in the future, an idea shared by many I suspect.
  Here they are, ready for February weather.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Ride to Greenwich on Saturday the 21st February

  After some very early morning snow there were 20 at the start, all well wrapped up against a cold NW wind. Such a number required marshalling on busy roads and this was provided by Eddie, Angie and David.
  After traversing Mitcham on back roads we went up to Tooting Graveney Common and Streatham Hill. It took a while for us all to get across Streatham High Road, but once up Streatham Hill it was all downhill to Dulwich Park. We did a circuit of the Park, as usual full of joggers and footballers, and exited towards Peckham Rye where Helen had a flat conveniently close to the cafe. Luckily David is something of a maestro at repairing flats and this was attended to in the rather keen wind while most sheltered inside the cafe.
  Leaving via Nunhead and Telegraph Hill Park in Brockley we descended to the Waterlink Way at Deptford Bridge and thence to the mouth of Deptford Creek. There is a new bridge over the creek to Greenwich where we left the bikes on a stand by the Maritime museum and headed to the several eateries. The Pie and Mash at Goddards is a good place to stop in future.
  After reassembling we went up the hill to the viewing point by the Observatory apart from Gemma who had a flat almost immediately. This was repaired again by David and we then navigated through Blackheath Village and Hither Green to Ladywell Fields and the traffic free Waterlink Way. With the wind now behind and some pleasant afternon sun we made our way to Norwood Country Park and the end of the Way close to Croydon.
 Getting across Croydon to the top of the Wandle Trail at Waddon Ponds was a bit of an ordeal , especially by West Croydon Station with road works and many buses, and arriving at Beddington Park the ride ended with the majority heading West to Sutton.
 I did 34 miles from home at a mainly easy pace. In my view a typical London ride with quiet stretches and surprising amounts of green space mixed with nightmarish main roads. Croydon town centre is definitely a place to be avoided by cyclists. Many thanks to helpers, especially David as the
 back marker. Photos are by Neil and myself.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Ride to Greenwich on Saturday the 21st February

  We will be leaving Morden Hall Park at 1015 as the cafe opens at 10 am, not as advertised in the email and Sou'wester.
  We will ride via Tooting Common, Dulwich Park, Peckham Rye and Deptford. Crossing the new bridge over Deptford Creek to the Cutty Sark, we will secure bikes by the Maritime Museum and decide among the many eateries in the village.
We will return via Greenwich Park, Blackheath and the Waterlink Way to skirt Croydon and end up in Beddington Park. Harry will then return to Morden Hall Park.
Distance will be about 30 miles, at an easy pace with no significant hills.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Message from David Aylett to all CTC members

“If you are member of the CTC you may not be aware that the club is undergoing what some may believe to be growing pains.  Some of us feel that we are passing a turning point and that you as a member should be aware of what is happening, not necessarily as is depicted in our club magazine.

To some of us replacement of a technical man with a salesman is not a step in the right direction.  Please see our district secretary’s note dated Saturday 24 January 2015 headed Important Issues in the Wayfarers Blog at cyclingswlondon.org.uk, below Harry’s Beginners blog.  

Having read his points and leads to correspondence on the matter, please let me know by email on davidaylett@talktalk.net if you support those of us that are upset by the actions our directors are taking.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Neil's photo of the group at Wandle Mouth. Saturday 17th January

Ride to Chiswick Park on Saturday the 17th January

  Rides at this time of year can be ruined by bad weather, so I was more than surprised to see 17 riders at Morden Hall Park. This despite the freezing temperature and forecast of some rain or sleet showers.  However there was almost no wind and we swiftly exited the Park by the Phipps Bridge  tram stop to avoid the muddiest part of the Wandle Trail, rejoining it at Merton Abbey Mills. Apart from the trafficky bit through Earlsfield and a short sleet shower, we headed down to Wandsworth Town Centre where we ran into road works and evidence of a massive building boom. The former Ram Brewery site is being turned into, guess what, luxury flats, though a piazza area is planned where the Wandle goes through the site. At the mouth of the Wandle we paused briefly for Neil to take a group photo and then crossed Wandsworth Bridge to circumnavigate Hurlingham Park to Bishop's Park in Fulham, a place full of historical interest and children playing football on a very muddy field.
The sun was out by now and we then rode along the Thames Path, Furnival Gardens and Chiswick Mall to Chiswick Park cafe, where we met Stephanie who had mistakenly gone to Nonsuch Park for the start. After a snack some of us decided to head back with Stephanie and some went for a short walk around the famous gardens in bright sunshine.
  Two more riders, Patricia and Steve then joined us, having arrived late at the start and sadly too late for a snack before setting off along the Thames through Dukes Meadows to Chiswick Bridge, which was in the process of being repaired, so requiring some careful riding, and along the South Bank of the Thames to the National Archive. The back roads through Kew were pleasantly quiet despite the jets thundering overhead and we halted briefly by Richmond Green and the gatehouse of the former Tudor Palace. Along the riverfront in Richmond we dodged the strollers and made our way to the Ham Gate into Richmond Park, where Angie remarked that she hadn't changed gear once since we began the ride. Along the Tamsin trail, quite dry for the time of year, we headed to Kingston gate before dispersing in New Malden.
  Many thanks to Tony for back marking. We had no flats or mechanical breakdowns this time. I did 28 miles from home overall and got back spot on 3pm. Next time I will start a bit later as the cafe at Morden Hall Park only opens at 10am.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Photographic Competition

  Details of the competition for 2014 are on the Wayfarers  Blog. The closing date for entries is the end of January.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Day ride to Chiswick Park on Saturday the 17th January

" This ride will start from outside the NT cafe in Morden Hall Park at
10am. We will then ride down the Wandle Trail to the Thames at
Wandsworth, and cross Wandsworth Bridge to the North Bank of the
river. Passing Hurlingham Gardens and going under Putney Bridge, we
will pause at Fulham Palace before continuing up the river past Fulham
Football Ground, Hammersmith Bridge and Chiswick Mall before stopping
for a snack at the cafe in the grounds of Chiswick House.
 Later we will continue up the river to Chiswick Bridge where we will
cross over and continue on the South Bank to the National Archive at
Kew where we will then go inland past Kew to Richmond Green. Then
along to Ham and the track along the bottom of Richmond Park to
Kingston Gate, Norbiton and ending after the A3 underpass at Malden
 There are no hills on this route and only short sections on roads.
The distance will be about 30 miles at an easy pace, finishing I guess
at around 3.30 pm."